Estate Planning Blunders of the Rich and Famous

Wealthy celebrities should be the last people to experience estate-planning blunders. After all, they have the financial means to hire entire teams of lawyers to ensure that their estate goes according to plan. As a recent article explains, however, even the rich and famous are susceptible to estate planning blunders.

English: Cropped screenshot of Marilyn Monroe ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Estate planning attorneys are constantly encouraging clients to start estate planning early. Professional football quarterback Steve McNair likely didn’t expect to be fatally shot by his mistress, Sahel Kazemi, when he was just 36 years old. Upon his death, it was discovered that McNair had no estate planning documents. As a result of this, his mother was removed from the six-bedroom home that McNair had purchased for her. Moreover, his estate had to pay a large tax bill that could have been lowered or avoided through estate planning.

Like McNair, Marilyn Monroe also met with an untimely death at the age of 36. Although Monroe did have an estate plan in place at the time of her death, the plan did not go far enough. As author of the book “The 101 Biggest Estate Planning Mistakes” Herb Nass explains, “She left [her acting coach] three-fourths of her estate, and when he died, his interest in Marilyn’s estate went to his third wife, who did not even know Marilyn.” Monroe could have avoided this by putting her estate into trusts that would only distribute to her intended beneficiaries.

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